J.P. Arencibia, who spent three seasons as one of the best power-hitting catchers in baseball, was one of five players the Phillies signed on Monday morning to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Arencibia spent last season with Tampa Bay, but he played just 24 games in the majors. The 29-year-old batted .227 with 22 home runs in 99 games at triple A. Arencibia hit 62 homers with Toronto from 2011-2013, and that total ranked fourth among all catchers. But he batted just .214 over that stretch. Arencibia has never finished a full season with an average higher than .233.
Along with Arencibia, the Phillies signed righthanded relief pitchers Greg Burke, Ernesto Frieri and Gregory Infante and infielder Angelys Nina. The Phillies announced last month that they had invited infielders Emmanuel Burris and Ryan Jackson and righthanded pitchers Frank Herrmann, Chris LeRoux, and Renier Robial.
Burke is from Marlton, N.J., and attended Gloucester Catholic. The 33-year-old spent last season in Toronto’s minor-league system. Frieri, 30, pitched in 22 games last season with Tampa Bay. He allowed 12 runs in 23 1/3 innings.
Infante, 28, has not reached the majors since 2010. He spent the last two seasons in Toronto’s minor-league system. Nina, 27, has never played in the majors. He has played eight minor-league seasons in Colorado’s system. He reached triple A in 2014 and hit .290 at that level in the last two seasons.